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How to Get Rid of Black Mold

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Mold on corner walls
Let's get started by saying that black mold, or as it is also know as Strachybotrys Chartarum (atra), can be dangerous to your health. It has been known to cause lung tissue damage, asthma, bronchitis, memory loss, congestion, vision problems, as well as a number of other health issues including death. According to the Center of Disease Control, this mold has been responsible for over "100 cases of lung disorders". It has also been linked to the deaths of babies from respiratory bleeding. In addition, it is believed to be a possible cause for "sick building syndrome". Black mold is not as common as other mold species but it still can be found. Typically it grows in an environment with relative humidity above 55% although it can also grow in a little as 40% in materials such as dry wall, fiber board, ceiling tiles, and insulation. One of the major areas it is found in the home is in carpet. Carpet fibers are excellent for black mold growth due to household spills and flooding from pipe leaks or flooding by Mother Nature herself. These cause damp conditions in the carpet as well as the padding and underlying flooring. If not dried thoroughly, it offers and excellent environment for growth. On the positive side, black mold usually will not grow on concrete, ceramic tiles (therefore it is not the black colored mold you see on your shower tiles), vinyl, plastic and it is not the mold that covers your bread after it has aged too long. Over the past few years, contamination of residential properties has become more prevalent but fortunately it can be eliminated from your home. It just takes special precautions to protect your health and the health of those around you while getting rid of it.


Things You Will Need

Chlorine bleach, Protective gloves, Protective respiratory mask, Eye protection, Protective clothing, Scrub brush, Cloth or paper towels


Step 1

Black mold

The first step in stopping and eliminating black mold is to find the source of the problem and fixing it. It may be a leaky pipe or even a roof or window leak, what ever the source of the moisture, the problem must be rectified or the mold will return.


Step 2

black mold spores

Identify the type of mold you have. Black mold is greenish black in color and is looks and feels slimy when wet. However, not all black colored mold is toxic. The best way to determine if it is black mold is to have it tested at an accredited lab although there are do it yourself toxic black mold test kits available. Wet black mold is not an airborne health risk but once dried, there is a significant risk due to mold spores being released into the air. The spores can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. Even if the mold is not black mold, all mold can be potentially unhealthy. Therefore, all mold should be removed from the home.


Step 3

mold removal

Determine the extent of the problem. Most areas will be small in size but anything over two square feet is considered a major infestation and professional help is recommended. If the area is not visible such as insulation behind walls or under carpeting, or if the mold growth is throughout the material, it will be necessary to completely remove and replace the items.


Step 4

mold protective clothing 1

Use a mixture of one cup bleach to one gallon of water to disinfect the area. Let the bleach saturate the mold and leave it on for fifteen to twenty minutes. Clean the area and then thoroughly dry it.

Use a scrub brush to loosen the mold and cloth or paper towels to clean the affected area. Dispose of all materials that come into contact with the mold.

Dry mold should never be scraped or scratched since the mold spores would be released into the air. Protection such as respiratory masks, eye protection, gloves and other clothing to prevent contact with the skin is highly recommended.


Over the past few years, contamination of residential properties has become more prevalent but fortunately it can be eliminated from your home. It just takes special precautions to protect your health and the health of those around you while getting rid of it.


Tips & Warnings

There may be areas of water damage and mold that can be hidden such as under carpet, behind drywall, or in attic and basement areas.

Wear gloves, safety goggles, respirator mask, and protective clothing when removing the mold.

Never touch or go near suspected toxic black mold without protective gear. Take care when removing and disposing of materials that have been contaminated by toxic mold. Bleach and other chemicals used to clean mold and mildew can be poison and the vapors can be harmful to individuals with breathing problems.


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Comments

Feb 25, 2010 2:15pm
Jack_Luca
Mold is nasty, nasty stuff
Mar 4, 2010 1:44am
Sullysee
Very well planned article and steps on the toxic black mold.
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